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Cambodia to lose EBA benefit from EU

The European Union accounts for 40 per cent of all Cambodian exports. Between 2011 and 2016, exports rose sharply by 227 per cent. The EU is Cambodia’s main export destination. Of Cambodia’s garment exports, 46 per cent goes to Europe, 24 per cent to the United States, 16 per cent to Japan and nine per cent to Canada.

However, now the EU has begun the process of withdrawing Cambodia’s EBA status, as the country’s economy has kept growing. Vietnam does not have EBA access and neither does Indonesia or Thailand as these countries are seen to be having economic growth. When a country loses EBA access, their exports are taxed.

EBA has contributed significantly to job creation and growth of Cambodia’s textile sector. Everything But Arms is part of the EU’s generalized system of preference which came into force in 2001. This project covers around 7,200 product tariff lines, 919 of which are agricultural products. For Cambodia, EBA provides a lot of benefits to the agriculture industry, in particular, rice and a number of other products. In the last couple of years, Cambodia has significantly increased rice exports to the EU, especially, France and Italy.